AMB 2016: The machine tool goes digital. Expert interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Brecher / Machine of the future the key topic at AMB in Stuttgart

Machine tools are becoming increasingly more precise, quicker and better. This will also be demonstrated during the forthcoming AMB, International Exhibition for Metal Working in Stuttgart from 13 to 17 September 2016, which is expected to attract 90,000 visitors. However, the basic principle of the metal cutting machine is changing very little. Several rotatory and linear axes are combined differently in a closed housing. The control units are also not readily accessible. In times of “Industry 4.0”, actually only another term for “networking”, the machine tool must be opened up. What will it look like in future?


Answers to this question are provided by Professor Dr.-Ing. Christian Brecher, one of the Heads of the renowned Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University and holder of the Chair for Machine Tools.

Professor Brecher, how must the machine tool of the future change for Industry 4.0?
In our opinion, two aspects are crucial: digitalisation or virtualisation of machine tools and their networking. In the first case engineering will be substantially optimised both through meaningful models of mechanical – i.e. static, dynamic and thermal behaviour – and control technology behaviour (e.g. the drive train or control models). The objective here is to simulate the subsequent machine as far as the process and detect challenges at an early stage. Networking will have more of an effect on the following operating phase. Future machine tools must contain semantic interfaces in order to provide, for example, process data in high resolution for more in-depth analyses, if possible in real time, or be functionally integrated in networked systems.

What effect will increasing automation of processes, especially through robots, have on the design of a machine tool?
Automated production cells already exist in tool construction and mouldmaking for example. However, we have identified major challenges relating to cost-effective operation of these cells (robots, machine tools, bearings) in multi-variant small series – i.e. the typical product range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMUs). Processes often cannot come on stream in parallel with production time, or the expertise required in this case is not available. To date, there have only been a few approaches to define a functionally extensive interface between a machine tool and a robot that can be integrated into the CAD/CAM-NC chain or the RC chain. This becomes very exciting when we consider flexible automation, e.g. by means of collaborative robotics. We also see great potential here for SMUs and small series.
We are currently establishing a working party which will examine this question both on the research side and during direct industrial cooperation.

What has actually become of the concept of hexapods, i.e. a completely new design of machine tools, for which a great future was once predicted?
Due to various reasons, the concept of parallel kinematics or hybrid solutions could only be successfully established in a few areas. In addition to the area of handling and installation, there are also machine tools in which the advantages, e.g. the high feasible dynamics of special concepts, are used very successfully. One example is the highly dynamic Ecospeed machine from Dörries Scharmann for highly productive aluminium machining in the aerospace industry. In future, there will certainly also be special concepts for specific applications in the machine tool industry.

Machines are becoming increasingly more complex, young people are thinking in apps – how will machines be operated in future?
The development of new, innovative man-machine concepts has a long history in the Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University. For example, the approach of an action-based operating concept – motivated by modern smartphones – has been successfully validated with multi-modal interfaces, thereby significantly reducing the complexity of current human-machine interfaces. Celos from DMG Mori is pursuing an entirely similar approach in this respect. In the MaxiMMI Project, whose participants include leading machine tool manufacturers and suppliers, we are also currently observing the integration of new operating devices such as smart watches, tablets or multimedia glasses in the machine tool environment. Although these approaches offer great potential, they should not be pursued just for their own sake, but should always create a realistic practical application.

Energy efficiency has also been a recurring topic in the machine tool industry for some years. What is the situation at present?
The topic area of energy efficiency is still the subject of current research funding tenders. Whereas we were initially able to design the main units, e.g. spindles, more efficiently after taking account of physical models, more emphasis is now placed on auxiliary units and intelligent thermal management as a whole. Current activities in the Machine Tool Laboratory involve reducing non-productive warm-up times in order to also switch off machines quickly in a flexible way during short breaks in production. From an overall viewpoint, the topic of energy efficiency must be broadly considered in the context of productivity in order to reduce the amount of energy consumption per component.

Dürr Ecoclean: Effective Entry into Aqueous Part Cleaning

At AMB, the international exhibition for metalworking, Dürr Ecoclean will present its EcoCCube, an extremely compact cleaning machine. The small footprint and low weight as well as the complete equipment and ready-to-connect construction enable fast and easy integration of the user-friendly front-loading system into production. The EcoCCube thus provides an optimal access into aqueous spray cleaning.


Whether parts are machined, stamped or deep-drawn, aqueous component cleaning with alkaline, neutral or acidic media ranks among the most widely employed cleaning technologies in many industries and in remanufacturing. Though, depending on the degree of completion, the downstream process and the specific industry, cleanliness requirements vary. When simpler cleaning tasks or intermediate cleaning have to be performed effectively and efficiently, Dürr Ecoclean’s EcoCCube holds many aces. These include, on the one hand, its space-saving footprint of just 2100 x 1630 x 1855 mm/ 6.90 x 5.35 x 6.10 ft. (length x width x height) and its low weight. The two-stage (washing/rinsing) and ready-to-connect spray unit with hot-air drying can thus be integrated easily and in minimum time into any manufacturing environment. On the other hand, the user-friendly front-loading system with integrated manual loading device convinces with flexibility. Parts soiled with oil and or emulsion can be cleaned as individual or as bulk components. The all-round spray system with four nozzle sets works with a high circulation flow rate, both when cleaning and when rinsing. The cleaning effect of the medium used can additionally be increased through rotation of the parts in the work chamber. Parts drying is performed by hot air circulation without loss of vapour to the environment. The EcoCCube’s freely programmable control system allows for storing 10 programs, thus enabling to clean different components parts-specifically. An intuitive HMI control panel makes the selection and start of the programme in question easy and safe, which contributes to high process reliability.

Efficiency through high throughput and long bath service life
The effective cleaning, rinsing and drying operations enable that up to 12 batches, each with a maximum weight of 80 kg (176 lbs.), can be cleaned per hour. Contaminants brought into the bath are continuously removed from the fluids by an integrated full-stream filtration and an oil skimmer. Thus, a long bath service live is achieved. Moreover, it attains its operating temperature quickly and energy-efficiently due to the optimized dimensions of two standard flood tanks.This in combination with the high throughput results in cost-efficient cleaning processes and helps to reduce costs per unit in manufacturing.

Modular and flexible servo press

FlexiPRESS is the name given to the new flexible servo-press from Parkem. Its progressive modular design enables optimisation of costs and generation of maximum added value for the integrator as well as the end customer.


The user therefore only purchases the equipment and functions really necessary. FlexiPRESS clearly distinguishes itself from the turnkey servo presses which often propose too many unnecessary functions and add-ons with a consequent negative effect of the utility-price ratio.
FlexiPRESS is based on Parkem linear actuators, either with screw and planetary gear rollers or tooth and ball gear, with a stroke of 25 to 1,600 mm. The torque ranges from 0.1 to 180 kN. When required, a load sensor may be incorporated and protected in the module.
The multifunctional load measurement control system comPRESS combines a load regulator and a servo regulator in a single control system to reduce communication time and obtain a high level of precision. It is foreseen with all common field busses and may be incorporated into all environments. Depending on the applications, the load measurement functions of the easyPRESS software package may be combined with the comPRESS control system.
FlexiPRESS is perfectly suitable for integration into any production lines, installations or presses as required in an advantageous, fast and flexible manner. The easyPRESS software package may be used in subsequent projects without the purchase of an additional licence.

Flexible und modulare Servopresse
flexiPRESS ist die neue, flexible Servopresse von Parkem. Dank mehrstufigem Aufbau garantiert sie Kostenoptimierungen und maximale Wertschöpfung beim Integrator und Endkunden. Denn es soll nur in die effektiv benötigte Hardware und Funktionalität investiert werden. Dadurch unterscheidet sich die flexiPRESS deutlich von schlüsselfertigen Servopressen, welche oft zu viele Funktionen und Features bieten und so ein schlechtes Kosten/Nutzen-Verhältnis darstellen.
Parkems Elektrozylinder mit Planetenrollen- oder Kugelgewindetrieb mit 25 bis 1600mm Hub bilden die Basis der flexiPRESS. Das Kraftspektrum reicht von 0.1 bis 180 kN. Der Kraftsensor ist auf Wunsch geschützt im Modul integriert.
Die multifunktionale Kraftmess-Steuerung comPRESS vereint Kraftregler und Servoregler in einer Steuerung. Dies reduziert die Kommunikationszeit und sorgt für hohe Genauigkeit. Sie verfügt über alle gängigen Feldbusse und lässt sich in jede Umgebung integrieren. Je nach Applikation werden die miteinander kombinierbaren Software-Kraftmessfunktionen easyPRESS in der comPRESS-Steuerung eingesetzt.
flexiPRESS eignet sich ideal für die Integration in Produktionslinien und Anlagen oder für Pressenapplikationen, welche günstig, schnell und flexibel realisiert werden sollen. Die easyPRESS-Software kann für identische Folgeprojekte wiederverwendet werden, es entstehen keine weiteren Lizenzkosten.

Euromold 2016 moves to AIRTEC 2016 in Munich. Two high caliber international shows go together and run parallel

The Euromold show moves already this year to AIRTEC 2016 in Munich, Germany. This decision has been taken together with the exhibitor board of Euromold 2016, which will take place parallel to AIRTEC 2016 at the Exhibition Center Munich from October 25 – 27, 2016.


With this step, the organizers would like to give Euromold new opportunities of growth in an outstanding high-tech region. Helmut Brandl, representative of the model and patternmaking association here in Germany and since many years member of the exhibitor board commented: ”High-Tech events belong to High-Tech regions”. Due to this motto, Euromold 2016 follows consequently, with the move to Munich, the capital and heart of the high-tech region Bavaria. Euromold 2016 offers you many new business opportunities together with the parallel running very successful aerospace show AIRTEC 2016. A common entrance ticket will be of advantage to all exhibitors of both future-oriented shows Euromold and AIRTEC 2016. They fit ideally to each other – the synergies are outstanding. New dimensions will be created for both shows and for your as an exhibitor.

Euromold 2016 takes place at one of the most modern exhibition centers of Europe, Messe München, directly at the main entrance parallel to AIRTEC. Munich offers for a show like Euromold ideal surroundings. Top logistics, an international airport, easy reach from everywhere in the world, rated as one of the top five international airports in the world. The hotel prices are in comparison to other capital cities moderate. And last but not least, many visitors, for example from the U.S. and Far East have a very positive picture of Munich, which attracts the visitors for Euromold 2016 in Munich from around the globe.

Euromold as a significant international product development trade show must grow in a future-oriented high-tech environment. Bavaria invests a lot of capital in high-tech products and is one of the most important high-tech regions in Germany and Europe. Euromold needs visitors, who on the basis of Euromold want to place new products in the market in an effective and efficient way.

These innovative surroundings Euromold 2016 will find from October 25 – 27, 2016 at the Exhibition Center Munich, Germany, parallel to AIRTEC 2016, Europe’s most important high-tech show for the aerospace supply industry.

The top points which speak for organizing Euromold 2016 together with AIRTEC 2016 in Munich are:

Exhibitors and visitors interests of Euromold and AIRTEC are in many ways common. Their target industries are closer to each other than at the first glance. Aerospace and automotive, f.e.  learn continuously from each other.

As a leading show for 3D-printing / additive manufacturing the closeness to the aerospace industry with AIRTEC is evident. The aerospace industry benefits like any other industry from the new opportunities of these technologies. AIRTEC has become an annual world meeting-place for  future managers from this industry, which will at the same time get to know Euromold better and appreciate this event, too.

For the industry of moldmaking and tooling and pattern making the industrial surroundings of Munich and the Bavarian region are ideal for making new business. Numerous big, medium-sized and smaller enterprises are located directly in the surroundings of the Euromold 2016 trade show. Two equally significant events with a highly international high caliber audience, every client with its own shape and the same targets: to get faster and more efficient to a new product. The closeness of these innovative events Euromold and AIRTEC 2016 will bring to the exhibitors and visitors exciting new knowledge.

The industrial and economical surroundings of Bavaria with the beautiful capital Munich is very future- and success oriented. The Bavarian government sets up new strategies for the industry and supports AIRTEC as a future-oriented trade show in its success. It is obvious that in no other region in Germany there is such a big and intense concentration of TecDAX enterprises as in the surroundings of Munich. But also smaller and medium-sized companies, many start-ups and handcraft companies are based in Munich and in the region of Bavaria.

Micronora 2016, Besançon

Micronora 2016 : rendez-vous incontournable
Complet huit mois avant son ouverture, le salon international de micro-technologies et de la précision rassemblera du 27 au 30 septembre à Besançon (France), sur 25000 m² de surface d’exposition, quelques 850 exposants spécialisés dans les domaines de la précision, miniaturisation et intégration de fonctions complexes (34% étranger).


Un programme très riche pour les visiteurs qui trouveront sans doute chaussure à leur pied. Ils doivent d’ailleurs, préparer leurs semelles, car de nombreuses manifestations s’ajouteront à ces visites : Concours des microns et nano d’or/ Zoom sur le transfert de technologies/ 10e micro-nano event/ Smart plastics congress/ Conférences.
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Micronora 2016: an unmissable event
With all its stands fully booked eight months before the opening date, the international microtechnology and high-precision trade fair, held in Besançon, France, from 27 to 30 September, will bring together around 850 exhibitors (34% from abroad) specialising in high-precision, miniaturisation and integration of complex functions in 25,000 sq m of exhibition space. It offers a very varied programme for visitors, who will be sure to find a solution that fits them. They must also plan their time well, as there are a number of additional events on the calendar: The Microns & Nano d’Or contest / Zoom on technology transfer / 10th micro-nano event / Smart plastics congress/ Conferences.
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Micronora 2016: Ein unumgängliches Event
Die bereits acht Monate im Voraus ausgebuchte Mikrotechnik- und Präzisionsmesse wird vom 27. bis zum 30. September 2016 in Besançon (Frankreich) auf einer Fläche von 25.000 m² ca. 850 auf Präzision, Miniaturisierung und die Integration komplexer Funktionen spezialisierte Aussteller zusammenbringen (darunter  34 % ausländische Aussteller). Den Besuchern wird ein sehr reichhaltiges Programm angeboten, das zweifellos keine Wünsche offenlassen wird. Sie haben sich zudem auf einen anspruchsvollen Tag vorzubereiten, denn neben den Besuchen auf den Ständen erwarten sie auch zahlreiche Veranstaltungen: Wettbewerb „Microns & Nano d’Or“ / Zoom auf den Technologietransfer / 10. Mikro-Nano-Event / Smart Plastics Kongress / Konferenzen.
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Clever Automation helper

The positioning slides FSG are characterized by a compact design with a square base. On their top and bottom, they have each four threaded holes and cuts for centering sleeves that are arranged in a standardized square grid pattern. It is thus not necessary to add holes for fixing or positioning.

Anwendungsbsp_6048 X

They are available as linear slides X, cross slide XY or vertical slide Z. Thanks to the before mentioned holes and the supplied thin shaft screws and centerings, they can be combined with each other. Within their respective dimensions, the linear and the cross slides have identical heights, allowing easy replacement without adjustments.

Extremely practical is the integrated wedge clamping. This allows the guide clearence of the slide to be set precisely or to be reduced to zero. It allows also a reliable, vibration-resistant locking. Due to this innovative arrangement, all FSG-positioning slides can be set and blocked with the same hexagon wrench from the front side, which allows its use even in very confined spaces.

The positioning slides are available in three frame sizes:
FSG 4030: Area 40x40mm, 30x30mm bore grid
FSG 6048: Area 60x60mm, 48x48mm bore grid
FSG 8060: Area 80x80mm, 60x60mm bore grid.

The FSG 6048 and 8060 X and XY are available in steel and aluminium.

The range of applications is virtually unlimited, be it in automation systems or assembly lines, in optical devices, at manual workstations, among small presses or other assembling devices.

Set-up and start-up costs can be significantly reduced with these clever Automation helpers. The simple setting and blocking of the position in modules, pick and place equipment and devices of all kinds, saves time and reduces costs.

Highly reliable GC1130 overcomes challenging machining conditions. Steel milling grade offers greater security and productivity

Machine shops faced with identifying ways of achieving secure machining with long and predictable insert life in steel milling operations can turn to GC1130, an insert made with the Zertivo, a unique production technology from Sandvik Coromant. GC1130 helps to overcome challenging machining conditions with a clean and intact edge, delivering high metal removal rates and performance levels in both wet and dry machining operations. The grade is offered as the first choice for shoulder milling cutters, CoroMill 390 and CoroMill 490 and chamfer cutter, CoroMill 495.


Flaking, abrupt chipping and thermal cracks are common issues encountered when milling materials in steel applications, especially when faced with unfavourable tool paths and deep cavities or when using coolant. GC1130 has been specifically developed to help production engineers combat the subsequent unwanted effects of short insert tool life and unstable production. Manufactured with Zertivo, a unique production technology that helps amplify the grade’s benefits offering peace-of-mind through greater edge-line security and reduced flaking. Furthermore, a high-Cr content fine-grain substrate delivers high resistance to thermal cracks generated as a result of temperature fluctuations during machining, helping to ensure long and reliable tool life.

According to Mikael Eiritz, product manager for milling grades at Sandvik Coromant, “The choice of insert geometry and grade is just as important as the choice of tool when looking for secure machining. The tool and insert together is what contributes to the overall performance in an operation. Many times, when using grade GC1130, customers can move from one component to the next without having to stop production. That saves them time and money.”

When repeated shoulder milling is required, the combination of GC1130 with CoroMill 490 provides a suitably light cutting action and smooth profile that can efficiently reduce the need for a finishing operation. Also available for the CoroMill 390, this grade is best when multiple component features are required. Bringing an added dimension of security and predictability to machining in challenging conditions, the assortment includes many different types of tools and a wide selection of corner radii. Applications such as shoulder milling, linear and helical ramping, turn-milling, deep shoulder milling, edging and pocketing can be performed.

In applications where trouble-free chamfering in various steel types is required, pairing CG1130 with CoroMill 495 reduces downtime and allows for higher machine utilization. Along with the chamfering of holes and edges, typical applications include back chamfers, welding preparation and deburring.

Product manager for shoulder milling at Sandvik Coromant, Thomas Wikgren, states, “Greater process security, productivity and tool life are all within reach with GC1130. At the end of the day, our customers are looking for a reliable tool and insert combination that will help them achieve a lower cost per component.”